Time required: 5-10 minutes

Grilled Garlic Chicken Tenders and Yogurt Dressing

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Chicken tenders, or thin pieces of chicken breast, cook up very fast and are low in fat. They are a bit more expensive than chicken dark meat, but otherwise are perfect for bentos.

This marinated and grilled chicken really just takes minutes to prep and to cook in a grill pan. They go well in a rice-based bento, in salad, sandwiches and more.

There’s a bonus just-mix yogurt dressing or sauce recipe below too! continue reading...

Red Peppers With Maple Syrup and Chili

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This little side dish or filler is related to the Cooked To Death Peppers, but is a lot faster to make and less oily. It doesn’t keep as long as Cooked To Death, but will be ok for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. It’s a nice bright color and flavor accent in a bento. continue reading...

Sweet-Sour Red Wine Vinegar Chicken

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This is a variation on the Balsamic Vinegar and Sesame Chicken recipe. I came up with this when I ran out of balsamic vinegar and had to make do with plain red wine vinegar - which of course is much cheaper. It’s even simpler to make since you do not have to deal with the sesame. continue reading...

Bento Filler: The Easiest Ever Carrot-Sesame Salad

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This is yet another recipe that is so easy that I didn’t even think of posting it, though I make it all the time. But since a lot of you guys liked the soy sauce eggs, and carrot kinpira is one of the most popular recipes on Just Bento (not to mention the most, ahem, copied elsewhere)…I thought, why not?

It is a very simple carrot salad flavored with sesame oil. You can add toasted sesame seeds if you want, or chopped up parsley as I did here, or both. Or leave both out and keep it simple. The good thing about this salad for bentos is that it stays crunchy and fresh-tasting even the next day after making it. It’s a nice colorful filler. continue reading...

Bento fillers: Forgotten vegetable kinpira

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Easy sugarfree carrot kinpira is one of the most popular recipes here on Just Bento. And no wonder - it’s a snap to make, healthy, and spicy.

While kinpira is traditionally made with carrots and burdock (gobo) in Japan, you can use the kinpira method for any crunchy vegetable. What’s more, it’s a great way of using up parts of vegetables that you might normally throw away. Not only will your tastebuds and tummy be happy, your wallet will be too. continue reading...

Sesame flavored beef

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I don’t have a lot of red meat recipes here, especially not beef. The biggest reason for this is that beef is the most expensive cut of meat usually, and I’m all about making bentos that are economical. But I do use beef sometimes, and one of my favorite ways is to treat it as I do in this recipe - quickly stir-fried, salty-sweet and tender strips of beef flavored with sesame oil. continue reading...

Bento no. 50: Vegan bento with quinoa salad and curried kidney beans

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Bento contents:

Total calories (approx): 450 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 5-10 minutes with pre-made components

Type: Vegan, not Japanese, gluten-free continue reading...

Bento no. 48: Salted chicken and carrot kinpira sandwich bento

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Bento contents:

  • 2 slices of bread, 85 cal each - 170 cal
  • Pan-fried salty chicken, 2 small chicken thighs totalling 70g (2.5oz) with skin, 150 cal
  • About 1/3-1/2 cup carrot kinpira, 50 cal
  • Lettuce and cherry tomatoes, 5 cal
  • 1/3 cucumber with dill, 10 cal
  • 1/2 Tbs. mayonnaise (in apple shaped container), 50 cal

Total calories (approx): 435 (how calories are calculated)

Time needed: 5-10 minutes in the morning continue reading...